How To Light Incense Cones

Incense cones can be very smoky when burnt, and though they create stunning visuals and robust fragrances, they must be lit safely. So, give yourself a blissful, easy incense experience by following our step-by-step guide on how to light incense cones safely and effectively.

burning incense cone
"Sometimes I light incense and a candle. It's so peaceful and quiet. The steadiness of the energy and the reliability of the warmth have a calming effect."
~ Cindy Williams

What are Incense Cones?

Incense cones are a coreless alternative to incense sticks, meaning there are fewer fillers to contaminate the aroma of the fragrant powders and resins.
They are made from a combination of combustible wood powders and aromatic herbs, spices, or resins and end up burning at a very high temperature. Meaning, you must ensure that your burner is heatproof.
They come in two varieties: regular and backflow.
Regular incense cones emit scented smoke from the pointed top, while backflow cones release smoke from the base. This produces a beautiful cascade that emulates a silent waterfall. This guide on lighting incense cones should be followed for both regular and backflow incense cones.

Are Incense Cones Safe?

Incense cones are usually safe when burned: with caution, in a well-ventilated space, and on occasion. Though cones have their spiritual benefits, they are also robust in fragrance and sometimes made with additional chemicals. We recommend burning your incense cones around once every two weeks in a spacious and ventilated space. Alternatively, click here to learn about natural incense and how it may benefit you.


How to Light Incense Cones

 Burn your incense cone once to two times every two weeks Excessive incense cone burning can become too powerful and overbearing. And in some instances, the burning of cones regularly has been known to become toxic to your body!

Incense cones are fantastic energy cleansers and can bring a sense of connection to higher beings in times of worship.

Safety First!

  • Always place the incense holder on a fire-resistant surface.
  • Ensure your cone is being burnt in a spacious/well-ventilated room.
  • Never leave burning incense unattended.
  • Always use an appropriate incense cone holder/burner.
  • Never burn incense around children or pets. They are more sensitive to smoke.
Tip: We like to open our windows to allow the natural air in and to ensure the smoke from the cones does not become overwhelming. Plus, the natural fresh air combined with the incense fragrance is incredibly grounding!


To light incense cones, you will need:

  • Incense cones. There are hundreds of different fragrances and forms out there.
  • Heatproof incense burner.
  • Match or lighter

Follow these simple steps to light incense cones


  1. Place the cone on a holder.

    Ensure it is a heatproof burner and have the tip of the cone pointing upwards.
    Tip: For extra heat protection, spread a layer of sand or uncooked rice under the cone.

  2. Light the tip

    Allow it to burn for 5-10 seconds, then gently blow out the flame. This will leave a smouldering ember at the tip of the cone.

  3. Enjoy your incense

    The cone will take 30 - 40 minutes to burn down to the bottom of the cone. The incense smoke from cones tends to be heavier and stronger than stick incense, so we like to open the windows for burning cones.

  4. Clean up

    Safely dispose of the ash from your incense burner once it has cooled.

If you're feeling experimental and want to try other types of incense, be sure to check our other incense how-to guides: how to burn loose incense, how to burn incense sticks, and how to cleanse crystals with incense sticks.

The Bottom Line

Whether you're looking to get the most out of your meditation, make your home smell wonderful, or simply want to take in the beauty of a backflow cascade, incense cones are a fantastic tool. However, you must enjoy them in safety so you can be sure of a peaceful and rejuvenating experience.

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